Whale Watch

For her birthday, Leanne asked to go whale watching. 

So Friday, while she was still out of school for Presidents Day Week (!), 

and Leia had parental permission to skip school, 

we headed for Island Packers in Ventura Harbor.

As always, there’s no guarantee we’d see whale(s), 

and for the first 2+ hours it looked like we were going to get skunked. 

We saw a seal almost before we cleared the harbor,

 There’s a seal on the buoy, honest

along with lots of brown pelicans hanging out on the jetty.

It didn’t take the captain long to locate the local dolphin hangout.

They came racing toward the boat,

jumping and diving,

swimming alongside

just under the water

and playing in the boat’s wake

so close we could almost touch them. 

There were easily several hundred dolphins in the immediate area. 

It was amazing 

and the girls were beyond thrilled.

Then we cruised up to Carpinteria

and the outskirts of Santa Barbara 

without seeing much of anything but crab pot markers

and a Mylar balloon that the crew snagged on our way by.

Then finally, with only about 30 minutes left on our cruise,

the star appeared

and put on quite a show. 

Judging by his size, the crew thought this humpback whale was probably a teenager.

He stayed close enough to the boat

that we got good photos with our iPhones,

including details like the barnacles on his (her?) back. 

And, like a seasoned performer, he saved the best for last. A series of about 20 loud tail thumps, one after another. It.was.awesome! 

Or as Leanne put it, “best birthday present ever!”


Birthday Glasses

Leanne went to the ophthalmologist on her birthday and yep, as suspected, she needs glasses. She was super excited about the pair she picked out, and super annoyed she had to wait two. whole. weeks. to actually get them. 

So you can imagine her excitement when the doctor’s office called to say her glasses were ready just 3 days later. Now she can wear them to surprise her friends at tomorrow’s official birthday bash. Isn’t she the cutest??


Something Fishy

Pop spotted this - on clearance - while we were shopping for Leanne’s birthday

 The side fins wiggle from inside!!

and had to have it.

He swears he got it for Jackie and Donovan

but doesn’t every guy secretly wish for his very own submarine??

Leanne put it together (with a little help from Pop) and has done most of the decorating so far.

All the grands have played inside except Donovan, who flat refused. 

He decided climbing up and over the top - especially when Jac was inside - was much better. 

Jac thought otherwise (loudly!) when the top started caving in and both she and the sub had to be rescued. Good thing Donovan is easy to distract with snacks and a video. 


Birthday Girl

Happy birthday to our sweet Leanne, who turned 9 today.

Her official party is Saturday 

 “Where are MY presents?!”

but we celebrated today with dinner at her favorite restaurant.

 “I like French fries!”

Leanne also got to order her first pair of glasses -  she has astigmatism and is farsighted - and is very annoyed she has to wait 2 weeks to get her pink and purple sparkly specs;

had her hair cut and lightened, and tried out the new playground at the outlet malls. 

And she has this entire week off from school for Presidents Week Leanne Birthday Week. Pretty nice way to celebrate!


Demo Day

This is hubby’s favorite day on any project - 


Aka “get a bigger hammer day“

No unpleasant surprises, so far. 

Crossing fingers that remains the case when the tub comes out tomorrow.


Busy, Busy Roundup

Leia received an award for earning a 4.0 GPA last semester. Whoohoo! So proud of her.

Leanne - who turns 9!! on Tuesday- is out of school next week for “Presidents Week”. That’s a new one on me.

I see baking (and eating) in our immediate future.

Donovan’s mom changed jobs so we will have him with us more often. Yay! He’s my favorite little goofball, always making me laugh. And he gives great hugs too. 

Hubby started demolition on the guest bath, the only room in our house he hasn’t remodeled.

It’ll be great when he’s done . . . 

 Ready to start the background

And finally, I took a collage quilt workshop today. So fun and so addictive. 

There are 3 designs in the pattern -  octopus, sea turtle and mermaid. I’d only intended to do the octopus but I *might* have bought the fabric kit for the mermaid during class . . . Oopsie.